It’s rightly said that every adversary brings an opportunity. The left-arm spinner from Gujarat, Axar Patel would not have thought about playing for team India in white colors. But, after picking 13 wickets in three innings, Axar Patel has turned out to be an excellent value for team India.
Axar would not have got a better place to showcase his skills. A perfect pink ball test cricket, being played at the renovated Narendra Modi stadium (earlier known as Motera cricket stadium).
The crowd with almost 55,000 people in Narendra Modi Stadium and that also in his home state was just like icing on the cake. Axar Patel’s 6 for 38 in England’s first innings, especially when they have Ashwin at the other end was a spell which would be remembered for years to come.
Since his debut in the second test recently played at Chennai, Patel has been improving by leaps and bounds. In the first innings, he took 2/40 and in the second innings figure of 5/60 became a key spell in India winning the match.
Now, with his bowling figures of 6/38 at Ahmedabad in the first innings has set the stage for a probable huge victory by team India. This has made him the first Indian bowler in over 32 year after Narendra Hirwani to pick up 2 consecutive 5-wicket hauls in the first 2 matches of his Test career. Patel also is one of the 9 bowlers from India with five wickets in his very first test match.
In merely 3 innings, Patel has taken 13 wickets at an average of 10.62! These stats are not at all bad for someone who was not even supposed to be a part of the 15-member squad had the first-choice all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja, been fit for this series.
His phenomenal start in pink-ball test cricket clearly signifies that he is hungry and desperate to prove his mettle as a Test cricketer.
“The dot balls create some pressure even in Test matches because the mindset has changed for the batsmen even in this format and that helps in getting wickets,” said Axar Patel at his post-match presentation with host broadcaster, Star Sports, at the end of the first day’s play.
A time will come when Axar Patel will have to step aside for the regular Ravindra Jadeja. Patel right now with his performance in the test series has made everyone forget Ravindra Jadeja’s absence from the team. No one knows what future lies ahead for this 28 year’s old cricketer. But his performance in this series has really given the team management an excellent option as a replacement for Jadeja.